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Progressive Web Applications

June 27, 2019

Recently the world celebrated the 30th birthday of the World Wide Web. The web has evolved to become a public square, a doctor’s office, a shop/school. Everyone is working towards making it available for everyone.

As technology leaders, we have to make tough choices: technologies to be used, devices to be supported and also worry about time to market.

Web evolved from Informative static sites to dynamic sites, to internet-based services. Then came the era of smartphones, which required internet-based services to serve just the data. We had Single Page Applications (SPA), which were client browser-based apps with high interactivity & portability. Desktop, Client server or mobile apps are always facing the issue of software delivery, web apps don’t have this limitation. Everything runs online, data is fetched from the server.

Currently the mobile apps market is getting saturated there are tons of apps available on app stores. According to comScore’s new 2017 U.S. Mobile Apps Reports, more than half of American smartphone users download exactly zero new apps a month.

The web-based apps always had a taboo of not being interactive or working in offline mode. That’s where Progressive Web Apps came into the play. It defined a new way of building interactive, highly reliable & engaging web apps.

Progressive Web Apps are experiences that combine the best of the web and the best of apps.

They are useful to users from the very first visit in a browser tab, no install required. As the user progressively builds a relationship with the app over time, it becomes more and more powerful. It loads quickly, even on flaky networks, sends relevant push notifications, has an icon on the home screen, and loads as a top-level, full-screen experience.

What are the general attributes that constitute a PWA? In 2015, Alex Russell introduced the term “progressive web app” online. He recounted a conversation between himself and Frances Berriman, in which they “enumerated the attributes of [a] new class of applications” based on the gradual and powerful evolution of modern browsers. Those attributes are:

  • Responsive: to fit any form factor
  • Connectivity independent: Progressively-enhanced with Service Workers to let them work offline
  • App-like-interactions: Adopt a Shell + Content application model to create appy navigations & interactions
  • Fresh: Transparently always up-to-date thanks to the Service Worker update process
  • Safe: Served via TLS (a Service Worker requirement) to prevent snooping
  • Discoverable: Are identifiable as “applications” thanks to W3C Manifests and Service Worker registration scope allowing search engines to find them
  • Re-engageable: Can access the re-engagement UIs of the OS; e.g. Push Notifications
  • Installable: to the home screen through browser-provided prompts, allowing users to “keep” apps they find most useful without the hassle of an app store
  • Linkable: meaning they’re zero-friction, zero-install, and easy to share. The social power of URLs matters.

Progressive Web Apps are user experiences that have the reach of the web, and are:

  • Reliable — Load instantly and never show the downasaur, even in uncertain network conditions.
  • Fast — Respond quickly to user interactions with silky smooth animations and no janky scrolling.
  • Engaging — Feel like a natural app on the device, with an immersive user experience.

PWAs are apps delivered through the web (as opposed to native apps, packaged and deployed through stores). As Alex Russell said:…they’re just websites that took all the right vitamins.

This webinar will cover:

  • Some info about how web evolved from informative sites to single page apps
  • Why do we have an issue with delivery of the software?
  • Hype about having native apps
  • What are the current trends about native apps
  • How software has captured our daily life?
  • How web has evolved? Websites -> Web Apps -> SPA
  • Why native apps are not able to solve the problem?
  • Why/What is PWA?

The three baseline criteria a site must fulfill in order to qualify as a PWA echo across the web. They are:

  • You need to be running under HTTPS.
  • You need a Web App Manifest.
  • You need a Service Worker.

On demand recording

Meet our panelists

Nikhil Walvekar, Sr. Solutions Architect, Synerzip.

Nikhil Walvekar, is a senior Solutions Architect at Synerzip.

Mike Watson VP Engineering at Synerzip

Mike Watson, VP Engineering at Synerzip, is a veteran engineering leader with over 15 years of experience leading software teams. Mike’s passion is in helping software product development organizations transition into strong Agile practices and cultures within.